1. I related to this story so much. I’m currently in the same position, if not worst. I have just taken the MCAT for a 3rd time and scored a 488. I’ve been working full time in Cancer Research since graduating undergrad last year. I planned to apply to medical schools, this upcoming cycle. But receiving this score has be extremely discouraged. This story is definitely inspirational! I am kind of at a brick wall with study methods, and personal tutors. I cant afford to spend $3,000 on a test prep which I heard often times does not help improve the score. I’m in need of advice on how to improve my score.

    • Leah4sci says

      Oh wow, that’s quite a journey but with a 488 for the third time I really think you need to take a step back and figure out WHY you’re not scoring higher before committing to another exam. Start here:

  2. Wait….I don’t understand how someone that was a Valedictorian at their high school could do so bad in college to get a 3.0, unless they just weren’t trying very much to pass.

    • Leah4sci says

      Michael: High school and college are very different, many students who do well in high school are shocked by the transition to college and their GPA shows it.

  3. Amani Muhammad says

    What medical school will Stephanie be attending ?

  4. Asha Stegall says

    Wow this was actually very encouraging for me and something I definitely needed to read this!!!

  5. Read this and I literally teared up. I am so happy for Stephanie and thank her for sharing her story. It gave me the boost to continue the MCAT and application prep 🙂

  6. Stephanie Smith says

    Good evening everyone!
    I just wanted to say hello to you all so that you know that I am a real person and that all of that stuff up there is real and true lol. Thank you all so much for your kindness and well wishes. I was telling Leah in an email that I have been experiencing some situational depression (YES! even at this very exciting time) and that your comments have really helped me to keep things in perspective, so thank you all for helping me. If you do decide to make Leah your tutor, I assure you that you will get nothing but the very best from her and the program. Be patient, there are a lot of us and we all need help and advice, and she is only one person; I promise that none of your questions will go unanswered IF you participate in the Study Hall. I wish you all the very best and lots of love! 🙂


  7. I really really thank you for posting this story, Leah! Such a boost of motivation! By chance can Stephanie share what schools she applied to?

  8. First, Congratulations Stephanie! Thank you for sharing your story!! I have tears of hope instead of discouragement. I can completely resonate with so many parts of her story especially when she mentioned being the first to attend college and how your family just doesn’t get it. My family still struggles to understand how long this MCAT prep takes and why I’m not in medical school yet despite graduating with honors almost 6 yrs ago…it’s like in their eyes I’m incredibly smart so I should just apply and go to med school. If only it was that easy. On the other hand while my family believes in me, I lacked my own confidence because I fear disappointing them. I had my ups and downs and struggles with Orgo in undergrad which left me depressed and questioning my medical school future so I looked into PA school. I graduated college started working as an EMT and medical assistant during which time I applied for PA school …but after I left my PA school interview I realized I was not happy at all. I knew I was settling! I became determined to go for my medical dreams again. I took my last pre-medical prerequisites including finally facing orgo 2 AND passing! But now MCAT prep has been my goal and struggle for the past couple years. And lately, I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress between my sick parent and other family drama plus my demanding full time job and bills so of course my mind isn’t there and my mcat studying stopped after trying to be consistent for about 5 months. I’ve been struggling to get back my motivation and I’m trying to get back on track but after reading Stephanie’s story I realized I can’t let my depression about not being where I want to be and all other external factors dictate how my life will go and hinder my MCAT prep. I really needed this story today and I slowly feel my hope igniting my motivation fire again. THANK YOU Stephanie! Today I somehow found this website and Stephanie’s story but I know it’s not by coincidence. God wanted me to read this and feel encouraged again to help get me back on track studying for Mcat. I plan on restarting studying tomorrow and utilizing some strategies I’ve read so far on this website to build my own study plan. Also, thank you Leah for choosing to create this studying platform to encourage all MCAT student to succeed! I hope to share my story one day to encourage someone else to keep on believing in themselves on their journey to medical school! Positive vibes and many blessings to all. Good luck studying everyone!

  9. So inspirational!! And just what I need considering my MCAT date is slowly creeping up on me. I have already taken the MCAT twice and although I jumped 9 points in my last practice exam I still cant help but feel like I’m not good enough (my GPA is less than stellar as well.) As a non traditional applicant I’m faced with many roadblocks and it’s soooo hard to stay positive. Is is possible to be connected with Stephanie? As a fellow URM I feel as though she could be of help to me. Thanks so much for sharing her story with us Leah!

    • Leah4sci says

      Thank you! So glad you found this interview helpful. While Stephanie does see the comments I’m guessing she’s swamped right now with med school starting very soon.

  10. One more thing Leah4Sci, I am a pre dental student insprired by Stephanie’s story. Im a psychology major, but I still must complete the prerequisities for dental school. Although your youtube videos are MCAT based, can pre dental students still use them?

    • Leah4sci says

      Glad you found this inspiring Brianna. Of course you can use my videos for the DAT. however keep in mind that anything I mention ‘MCAT specific’ may not apply

  11. Hi Leah4Sci and Stephanie! May I ask, what was Stephanie’s major?

  12. Tinsley Roberson says

    I got the exact same scores and am also headed to medical school this fall with the help of your content. It was extremely helpful when I was studying to re-take the MCAT last summer. Thank you for all you do. Very inspiring story!

  13. Leah, thank you so much for sharing her story! I just transferred to a four-year University after being in the workforce for 11.5 years right after high school, and have been struggling with acclimating. With that said, my science courses have been hanging by a thread and I hoped that it would be better after my first semester. That is not the case. This story is very similar to mine: valedictorian in high school and struggling in undergrad. I just hope that I make it through!

    • Leah4sci says

      So glad you were able to relate to this Caisha. It’s a tough transition from working to academics. Make sure you work harder each semester so that you finish as strong as possible!

  14. Julia Kirkland says

    This article was very inspiring. I am in the exact same situation. Since I recently took a practice test and got the same score (488) after studying crazy hours with no improvement. I have taken the MCAT 2 times. The first time I got hit by a car while on a bike two weeks before I took the test. I asked for time accommodation since I was still in a sling and the AAMC denied it. I took the MCAT again feeling more confident and paid $3,000 for a private tutor and took out a lone to pay for it but only scored one point higher than the first test (extremely upsetting). I took two extra classes at the local community college in the in between time. I am supporting myself doing a full time job since not working is NOT an option. I am scheduled to take the MCAT again on June 1st but this recent practice score is really freaking me out. I am not made out of money so I am trying to be prepared for this test so I don’t have to throw more and more money down the drain before I can get to the application phase. I would love to apply this cycle. Not sure what to do. I think I need to do more practice questions like Stephanie. But I just feel a little lost on how to do better.

    • Glad you found her story inspiring. I emailed you regarding the rest

      • Julia Kirkland says

        I did not receive an email from you. I checked my all mail and my spam and saw nothing. Please try sending your response to the email I have listed. Thanks

  15. “You’re struggling because you are breaking this mold. That’s why you feel like you’re alone.” Thanks Stephanie for the words of encouragement, the sky is the limit.

    • You’re very welcome Andy, I’m so happy you were able to find encouragement in her story. And you’re absolutely correct, the sky is the limit! Don’t let it stop you!

  16. Ayuk Obale says

    Hi. What was the author GPA when she applied to med school?

  17. I also feel like a i have adhd but was tested and was told i was depressed instead. I didn’t get medication to help with my attention difficulty so i struggle so much with taking exams like the Mcat.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Quiqui sometimes the diagnosis are not what we need. But let me ask you this, does the ‘label’ really matter? I work with many students who have ADHD and don’t take medication. Depending on the severity there are ways to treat it without medicine. I also have ADHD and don’t take anything for it. Many of the study tips I have devised over the years have come from my quest to conquer my ADHD. Consider these to start: and

  18. Inspired girl says

    Stephanie’s story is so inspiring. I can relate on so many levels. Low GPA, Low MCAT Practice score, and a first generation college grad. I feel like the odds are stacked against me. I have exceeded the study timeframe I set for myself and I am extremely dissapointed, dissatisfied, and surprisingly determined. This was exactly the push I need to get over thus next hump. Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story!

    • Latania,
      it sounds like you’re locking yourself into a box. If you want to become a doctor then you have to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes. Stephanie studied for MUCH MUCH LONGER than planned and if you ask her today I bet she’ll say it was all worth it. If your scores tell you that you need more time, go ahead and TAKE MORE TIME. But keep at it because one day YOU will be the one bragging about how you got accepted into medical school. 🙂

  19. Vivian G says

    Stephanie, reminds me of a younger version of myself, trying to do something major the old way (meaning high school/college way). Well the MCAT sure does know how to give you a reality check, real quick. I’m so happy for Stephanie, she showed me that if this is what you want don’t let anyone or anything stop you from pursuing your dreams. Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story with me, you’ve given me more courage and determination to move forward with my dreams….becoming a Doctor!!!

    • I’m so happy to hear this Vivian! I can’t wait to see you reach your goals. In fact, once you’re in I’d love to share your story here as well because you are one strong woman!! 🙂

  20. Laelanny Reed says

    I soooo enjoyed reading this!!! I feel beyond encouraged and I’m glad to hear Leah4sci is A great resource. Back to work I go! I’m not giving up. I’m saving this article for encouragement.

    • You’re very welcome Laelalanny! I’m so happy that you were able to find such inspiration in Stephanie’s journey. Please save this interview and read it again anytime you feel down and need a motivational kick in the rear! 🙂

  21. This brought tears to my eyes. I feel like i know you personally. I’m soooo proud of you. Please document your journey through med school

    • Thanks for this Quisha,
      I’ll pass it on to Stephanie.
      I will also keep in touch with her and try to add updates here as she progresses through medical school.

  22. Omg I connected to this story so much. I felt like I was reading about my own journey (even the long distance relationship part). I will be applying to med school this year and this just gave me so much hope.

  23. Pilgrim girl says

    This was so encouraging for you to share, Leah. I feel like I have ADHD and it takes me a long time to “get” certain things, as I am a visual learner too. That OR reading something in print. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to get through all my MCAT prep books while I plan on volunteering so much and am taking a full semester load.

    • You are very welcome Pilgrim Girl. I too have ADHD. the key is to break down the big goals into small manageable chunks then conquer them one step at a time. Make sure you attend my strategy workshop at the end of this month (details to follow via email) where I go into detail on how to do this.

  24. Awesome and congrats! This story gave me an energy boost!

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